2008 Season NFL Football Past Picks

January 04, 2009

04

Philadelphia at Minnesota

Sunday 01/04 04:30 PM Eastern

2 units on Philadelphia -3 (-125) (risk 2 to return 2)  RESULT: WIN

The Eagles needed a miracle going into the final week to make it here. They had to beat the Cowboys and hope for a couple other things to happen. Well, they all did and here they are. But is this an undeserving team that snuck in? No! This is a team that deserves to be here - a team that is finally playing up to their potential and peaking at the right time. When healthy, the Eagles are quite simply one of the best teams in the NFL. Just look at who they beat this season. They beat Dallas, the Gants, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Arizona. They had 11 games on the schedule against teams that were .500 or better. The matchup is favorable here, because the Eagles interest is not by land, it is by air. The Vikings have stopped the run all season, but can't stop an air attack. The Eagles let it fly over 600 times this season, to just 426 running plays. Donovan McNabb, after a poor middle of the season and wake-up-call benching, has now gone the last five weeks throwing for nine TDs and just one INT and one fumble. The Vikings secondary is pedestrian at best, and McNabb will have the deep ball available with DeSean Jackson, and the short ball with a healthy Westbrook. This is a Vikings team led by a QB that has no playoff experience, and a team that hasn't been to the playoffs in four years. They have limited personnel with playoff experience and are hosting a game thanks to a very weak schedule. The Eagles players and coaches, in contrast, have lots of playoff experience. You can be sure that the Eagles array of blitz packages will be utilized in full force for this one. The Eagles have been a great road team with McNabb as he is 32-20 ATS in 52 road starts. Adrian Peterson has been playing with an ankle injury, and says he is feeling good, but this will be the toughest run defense the Vikings have seen all season as the Eagles rank fourth against the run. The last seven weeks this Eagles defense has not allowed a running back to go for more than 88 yards. That's against the likes of Brandon Jacobs and Clinton Portis who combined to average just 61 yards. The average yards rushing gained by Philly's opponents’ featured back the last seven weeks is 50! The Vikings have their hands full on both sides of the ball, and the better team with the better QB and more experience gets the call here.

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